Monday, February 15, 2010

Alabama Shooting, Taliban Commander Captured, McCain Getting Primaried, Missionary Update, & Silent Bob Speaks Out Against Southwest Airlines

Hi everyone. Happy New Week! Anderson Cooper has returned to his anchor chair, and we begin with a shooting that left three people dead at the University of Alabama. The tragedy actually happened on Friday, and our anchor says he has "new details" on the shooter, Amy Bishop Anderson.

I haven't been following this at all, so it's coming out of no where for me. In a Joe Johns piece, we learn that Bishop Anderson actually shot her brother when she was younger. Lisa Bloom then joins us in studio to talk about this. Horrible story and all, but really all I needed was a headline. Anderson doesn't seem that engaged with it either. Moving on.

A little bit of BREAKING NEWS now. The Taliban's number two guy, Mullah Baradar, was captured alive in Karachi. Man, we so kick ass when it comes to number two terrorist guys. Top guy? Not so much. But we will always get his second-in-command...however many of those there might be.

Did you catch a little hint of sarcasm there? Let's just say I don't have the greatest confidence in these kinds of reports. I've seen this play before. First, there will be much crowing about a kill or capture. Then, a week or so later, an official will be quoted in the foreign press, saying they don't know what the Americans are talking about. Finally, long after the initial "go us!" celebration has ended, it will quietly be revealed that the big scary terrorist actually wasn't as big and scary as initially thought.

While I realize there are very different circumstances at play here, you have to admit that based on history, my skepticism is pretty warranted. I've seen a lot of allegedly important terrorists come and go without much result. Hell, we've even killed some of those mofos twice! So you can see why my initial visceral reaction to this latest announcement can be summed up as: ORLY?

Moving on to Tom Foreman employing the Magic Map to discuss the latest offensive against the Taliban in the city of Marjah. Then we're on to discussion with Peter Bergen and Robin Wright of the US Institute of Peace. Peter thinks the capture is a big deal. I guess we'll see. Robin talks about the new strategy in Afghanistan. Of note is mention of the new rules of engagement, which are meant to limit civilian casualties. Yes, that would be good.

Transitioning now to the news that Senator Evan Bayh will not seek re-election. The graphic says "Bye-Bye Bayh." Oh those 360 kids are so clever. But no Backstreet Boys reference? Where is your balance, CNN?!

We're not really going to talk about Bayh though. Randi Kaye has a piece all about how John McCain is getting primaried because he's not Republican enough. Oh, snap. That's gotta sting. He's being challenged by J.D. Hayworth, who Randi interviews. There is word association. Seriously. Previously I joked that these people are nothing but slogans. I guess this is the next logical step.

Hayworth campaigned for McCain in 2000, but says the McCain of 2010 is very different. See, the first sign there's a problem is when there is more then one of you. The McCain of 2000? Pretty rational. I'd maybe even vote for him. The McCain of 2008? Scary boatload of crazy. 2010? I don't even know anymore.

Also? Randi tells us that: "Tea Partiers want smaller government, lower taxes, and more freedom. J.D. Hayworth says he can deliver that and much more." Really? Will he bring everyone a magical pony as well? I'm so sick of this. Newsflash to my fellow Americans: our country is currently in a pickle that's been a long time coming. As we fix it, part of your life is going to suck. This is what we call reality. Stop acting like children.

Moving on to discussion with David Gergen. The phrase "Bayh-Partisanship" is on the chyron. Oh, they're just full of them tonight, aren't they? Anyhoo, I actually missed this convo, but let me go out on a limb and see if I can't take a guess at what our Gerg said. Hm, was there perhaps some hand-wringing over political discourse? Some sadness over the loss of a moderate? It's a bad day for the Village.

Time now for our update on the American missionaries. So that lawyer guy, Jorge Puello? Yeah, not so much a lawyer. Instead, he's accused of running an international sex-trafficking ring, which I'm guessing was not on his fake business cards. But really, the focus of this segment is an interview with Lisa Allen, the wife of one of the detained men. She hired her own attorney and not Puello. Smart. Here's a somewhat related piece I think is worth reading.

Okay, most of my regular readers know I'm a fan of the Twitter. Well, over the weekend I was very amused to witness Director Kevin Smith (@thatkevinsmith) pretty brutally take on Southwest Airlines (@SouthwestAir) over an instance of being kicked off a flight for allegedly being too fat. Smith maintains that his weight was used as an excuse by the airline after he was erroneously ousted.

You know what's coming next, don't you? We're gonna debate this, yo! In this corner, we have Peggy Howell of the National Association to Advance Fat Acceptance. Her opponent? Meme Roth, president of National Action Against Obesity. What follows is pretty much as train-wrecky as you might imagine. While I'm having trouble accepting Peggy's organization without irony, Meme is just, well, mean.

She chides overweight people for not eating properly, putting the blame of an often nuanced situation squarely on their shoulders. Yeah man, they're just lazy slobs! As someone at the opposite end of this particular problem (been trying to gain my whole life), Meme more than rubbed me the wrong way. In any regards, I think the real story here was the intersection of PR and social networking...and the subsequent mess for Southwest Air.

I'm going to wrap it up here because I'm tired. The show was alright. Our anchor was pretty low energy, but I can't really blame the guy for that right now. That'll do it.

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Anonymous Anonymous said...

"Tea Partiers want smaller government, lower taxes, and more freedom. J.D. Hayworth says he can deliver that and much more."

You mean, I can have MORE FREEDOM?

10:47 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Question to Meme: why am I forced to sit next to or around children? I, as a paying customer, should not have to be infringed upon because of the lifestyle choices of others. I hate children: they are loud, obnoxious, and smell. Therefore, children should not be allowed on airplanes (or in restaurants, or on the sidewalk) unless they are in their own section at the opposite end of the plane.

9:18 PM  

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